HI to ALL,
As the wheel continues to turn again we find ourselves nearing " Summer Solstice".
Litha/Midsummer is one of the Wiccan Sabbats and is usually celebrated on June 21st, but varies somewhat from the 20th to the 23rd, dependant upon the Earth's rotation around the Sun. This year it is on the 20th of June. The sun is at the height of its power before beginning its slide into darkness and we experience the longest day and shortest night of the year.
While steamy Midsummer marks the beginning of the Sun's dying strength the season itself is very lush. The Sun, flowers and Earth are in full bloom. Hot Midsummer creates a fiery, mature, breathless passion. The God is at the very height of his power as we hit midsummer, at this point of the year the gardens are coming along nicely . We have done all of the planting associated with spring and life gets a little easier as we sit back and tend what we've created. Its a time of great celebration before we meet the work ahead as the harvest comes in. On Midsummer the veil between the worlds is said to be very thin making this a great time for divination, historically many maidens would divine a husband at this time. Midsummer's Eve is said to be a time when fairies abound in great numbers this is a great time to commune with them and leave gifts of sweets outdoors.
Litha celebrates abundance, fertility, virility, the beauty and bounty of Nature. Harnessing the Suns great power makes all types of magic appropriate now. We can also harvest the first of our magical herbs at this time since they are drenched with the great power of the sun on this longest day of the year. It is a good time for empowerment, for strong magic for hand fastings and communing with Nature Spirits.
The journey into the harvest season has begun.
Here are some craft ideas you might like to try, and some traditional Litha activies. I am going to do a series of blogs early this year which will include lots of recipes for the Solstice feast ( lots of new, and some old favorites) crafts, and Litha lore. I thought to do this earlier as even last year I felt I was way to late even for myself to try something new! !! :-)
Sea Shell Wreath
Courtesy of Jo-Ann etc Experience the Creativity Magazine
Shore thing! A seasonal wreath in celebration of summer makes a comely conversation piece.
Finished size: Approximately 12"/30.5cm across
10" /25.5cm Styrofoam wreath base
about 15 small bags of seashells (use shells approximately same size and color)
Lion brand textured jute ribbon
hot glue gun & glue sticks
spooled floral wire
clear-drying craft glue
1. With 18"/46cm-long trailing end, wrap wreath base with textured ribbon, gluing in place as you go.
2. Continue wrapping ribbon until entire wreath is covered, slightly overlapping edges to ensure there are no gaps between rows.
3. Trim ribbon, leaving 18"/46cm-long trailing end. Tie ribbon ends in large bow. Trim ends even and seal in back with clear-drying craft glue.
Assembling: Hot glue shells to wreath base, clustering and overlapping shells to create solid surface. Vary placement of shells for design interest. Use smaller shells to fill any gaps. Cut small piece of wire and use to secure bow. Tuck wire ends under knot.
BEE Bird House
Paints...Black Light buttermilk (Americana)Straw (Delta Ceramcoat)Old Parchment (Delta Ceramcoat)
Drill with Bits
Matte Spray Varnish
Black Permanent Marker
Flat Brush for Base coat
Round Brush for detail
Instructions:Clean, and sand a dried gourd.( you can grwo these your self) Wipe with a tack cloth. Drill 2 small holes at the top of the gourd large enough to thread jute. Drill a larger hole to act as a hole for the bird. Base coat the gourd with 2 coats of Old Parchment allowing each coat to dry thoroughly. Draw on the Bees (See Bee Pattern above) in a random pattern making sure they are facing all directions. They look goods in groups of 3 or alone. Base coat the wings in Light Buttermilk. Let dry. Base coat the bee body in Straw. Let dry. Base coat the head and stripes in Black. Let dry. Outline the wings, add antenna and a stinger with a permanent marker. You can also add the dotted lines to show where he has been and the curved lines to hint at wing movement. Allow to dry thoroughly before you spray with a matte finish. Thread jute through the top holes of the gourd and tie for hanging. You can add lengths of jute in a bow if you'd like. Optional: You may want to add Buzz on Inn around the door opening but make sure you allow for this when you draw the bees on.
This is a good time for clearing away non-useful energies, and establishing a stable base. (bees choice)
- Cleansing may include leaping a fire (a low one, please), or putting herbs symbolizing (or charged with) the non-useful energies into a fire. You may leap a fire not only for purification, but to re-energize yourself.
Litha is a time for healing of all kinds, and protection rituals.
Get all your friends together with some drums and rattles, and dance the whole night through. A Spiral Dance would be nice, too. "Sing, Dance, make Music and Love, all in my Presence..." ( I think i will organize this for Castsel Raven?)
Make your own "Green Man" mask. Cut eye-holes in a paper plate. Let them glue on real or construction paper leaves.
Go berry picking. Have the children chose their best berry and throw it back into the berry bushes as they thank the Goddess and the bushes for the fruit.
Burn a Wreath in the bon fire or try using Wreaths of Vervain and Mugwort which were burned in ancient times at the end of the festivals to burn away bad luck. (bees choice)
Many families placed roses on the tables, as this is the Goddess flower for this time of the year. Try this yourself for a beautiful and fragrant decoration. (Bees choice I love my roses!)
Leave out milk and honey as an offering to the Fae folk (Bees choice)
Put a ring of flowers around a bowl full of mugwort
Hang a bundle of fresh herbs out to dry and use them to spice up a Litha feast of cooked summer vegetables (bees choice)
Light a white candle and place it in front of a mirror. Say your own Litha prayer over it, and then let it burn out ( bees choice)
Make a charm to hang around your neck with a seashell
Have an outdoor breakfast picnic to welcome the Solstice (great idea!! Bees choice)
Stay up and watch the sun come up on the longest day of the year! (Bees choice)
Try a fire divination, stare into the coals of your bonfire as it settles or look for forms in the leaping flames.
Make protection amulets for friends and family dispose of last years amulet in the Litha bonfire